Collapsed verge prompts safety fears at Carnlough

FEARS for the safety of motorists and residents have been voiced after the collapse of a section of verge at the top of a steep slope on Carnlough’s Largy Road.

Ulster Unionist councillor Maureen Morrow has acted to alert drivers to the “hidden danger” which has prompted Translink to alter a school bus route.

“Residents of Carnlough may be unaware of a hidden danger on the Largy Road,” warned the Coast Road representative, who learned of the problem from a resident who was concerned that the roadside verge had disintegrated.

Cllr Morrow said: “I was asked to take a look at the problem area and I could not believe it.” She described seeing only the roots of a hedge where the verge used to be, opposite the McCollum caravan site.

“If a vehicle pulls over and goes on to the verge, there is literally nothing to hold the weight of the vehicle except for the roots of a few bushes. If they give way, the vehicle and its passengers will go down a steep slope which has a bungalow at the bottom,” she feared.

“This is not only endangering the lives of road users in this area but also the family who live in the bungalow at the bottom of the slope,” said Cllr Morrow.

“Ulsterbus have temporarily re-routed three daily buses which normally use this route in the morning to pick up school children and again in the evening on the return journey. The buses now use the Branch Road, which is not really a suitable route, but at present is a safer route.”

A spokesman for Roads Service said there had been an inspection and it was “satisifed that it is safe for road users”. He added: “As a precaution, Roads Service will be erecting reflective marker posts to highlight the edge of the road.”

Options were being investigated, including widening the five-metre road on the landward side.

Cllr Morrow urged drivers to “exercise great caution” in the meantime.